At 14h45, Monday, 04th July, NSRI Jeffreys Bay duty crew were activated following reports of a drowning in progress at Beach Break, Magna Tubes, Jeffreys Bay.
My wife Eidie Janse van Rensburg had noticed a child appearing to be in difficulty in the surf and she immediately activated our NSRI Jeffreys Bay duty crew but very shortly thereafter that child came out of the water and he was screaming out that his friend had disappeared under water.
The missing child had not been noticed before this alert.
At approximately 10h00, Monday, 04th July, NSRI Still Bay duty crew, Cape Nature Conservation and the SA Police Services responded to the Blombos Private Nature Reserve (approximately 22 km West of Still Bay) following eye-witness reports of a whale beached.
On arrival on the scene the adult Pilot Whale was found on the beach. The teams, assisted by members of the public, kept the whale wet and cool, while awaiting high tide. The Department of Environmental Affairs – Oceans and Coasts were alerted to assist with advice.
A trench was dug in the beach sand leading into the sea. At high tide NSRI rescue swimmers assisted the whale through the swell, swimming it through the breakers. The crew remained with the whale in deeper water until it appeared to swim off unassisted. Unfortunately shortly afterwards the whale re-beached.
The rescue team, including NSRI Still Bay, Cape Nature Conservation, the SA Police Services and members of the public, again steared the whale to deeper water. The NSRI rescue swimmers assisted in swimming the whale out to sea and remained with it for some time, before the whale appeared to gain some strength and swam away, this time out to sea.
The rescue teams are cautiously optimistic that the whale has survived this ordeal and it remains unknown what caused the whale to beach. The whale had no signs of any visible injury.
All services involved in this rescue operation, and members of the public who assisted, are commended for their efforts to rescue the whale. Hopes are high that the whale will not re-beach itself again. Patrols will be conducted along the stretch of coastline to keep a watch for any possibie beachings.
The operation was concluded at about 17h00.
Station Commander, Rieghard Janse van Rensburg’s wife – Eidie, had noticed a child who appeared to be in difficulty in the surf and immediately activated the NSRI Jeffreys Bay duty crew. Shortly after activation the child came out of the water, however, he was shouting that his friend had disappeared under water. The second child had not been noticed before this alert.
While responding to the scene, eye-witnesses reported that the child who had reportedly disappeared under water, had been rescued from the surf by 3 Australian surfers.
It appeared that the 3 Australian surfers, Mitchell Ellis, Nate Searle and Luca Stevenson, had come across the teenager, a 15 year old male from Welkom, in the surf breaker line. Recognising he was in difficulty, they had pulled him from the water and together managed to bring him back to shore. The teenager appeared to be in a serious condition, and Eidie requested urgent medical assistance.
Jefferies Bay NSRI dispatched their sea rescue vehicle to the scene. On arrival NSRI medics commenced medical treatment to the teenager, who showed signs of non-fatal drowning symptoms, hypothermia and exhaustion.
The teenager was placed on oxygen and covered in a heated blanket and emergency space blanket until the EC Government Health EMS arrived on scene. The teenager was transported to hospital by the EMS ambulance and is in a stable condition. He will remain in hospital under observation for secondary drowning symptoms and continuing medical treatment.
The teenager is expected to make a full recovery and everyone involved, including members of the public and especially the 3 Australian surfers who rescued the teenager from the surf, are commended for their actions today.
NSRI ARE URGING THE PUBLIC TO BE CAUTIOUS AROUND THE COASTLINE.
TODAY IS THE PEAK OF THE NEW MOON SPRING TIDE, MEANING A HIGHER THAN NORMAL HIGH TIDE, A LOWER THAN NORMAL LOW TIDE, AND STRONGER THAN NORMAL RIP CURRENTS WILL OCCUR AROUND THE COAST FOR THE NEXT 4 TO 5 DAYS. PARTICULARLY BECAUSE OF THE SCHOOL HOLIDAYS AND WARM SUNNY DAYS AHEAD WE ARE URGING THE PUBLIC TO BE AWARE OF THE SPRING TIDE AND TO BE EXTREMELY CAUTIOUS AROUND THE COAST.